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For me one of the most significant aspects of yesterday's WWDC was the ability for documents to be held in the cloud. I presently store critical files using my iDisk because guaranteeing the availability of a presentation, contract and other mission critical files is vital. While iDisk is okay, it isn't exactly fast. iCloud looks as though it's going to speed things up, which is great. I also like the multi-device functionality that you'll soon get with Keynote, Pages and Numbers. It is going to make document collaboration easier than before. Even without it, iWork has become an increasingly useful business application.

I have two main gripes about iWork. One is that despite its overall usefulness, iWork still lags behind MS Office for Mac. Two is that not enough people are using iWork, so sharing documents can be limited by who has got the software. I guess I shouldn't be too worried about iWork's relative lack of functionality versus Office for Mac, because the latest version of iWork was released a while back, in 2009. I also suspect that Apple is working on brand new versions of Pages, Keynote and Numbers. It is going to be very interesting to see how they evolve. i am quietly hoping that iWork 2012 will offer dramatically increased functionality in an easier to use and more intuitive interface.

This topic made me wonder how Apple will improve file compatibility / interchangeability between Office for Mac documents and iWork. It could adopt a universal file format such as .docx and .pptx which would dispense with Pages own document file format. You can already open an Office document in iWork but you cannot do it the other way round. If someone hasn't got Pages or Keynote, then you're screwed. Even with a common file format, you would still encounter unsupported feature differences between the two programmes, but overall incompatibilities would be reduced. Such a strategy would remove the last barrier to widespread corporate adoption of iWork. The real difference between the two programs would be the ease and speed with which they allowed you to create sophisticated documents.

Whatever Apple does, if it can make iWork better than Office and get it used more widely, it could start to displace Microsoft in global big businesses.I care about that, because if Apple can drive corporate growth then its shares will become even more valuable.